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The Great Divide

Last updated on May 11, 2020

“Wouldn’t world history be rewritten if just a few people had actually acted like individual free agents rather than mindless lemmings” —Joel Salatin

In the light of the COVID-19 lockdown, let me tell you what I found out… We live in two different countries! I discovered this on a road trip.

I drove from South Florida to Massachusetts with my dog, Molly. It took us four days. Neither my dog nor I like to drive more than 8 hours a day. Plus, we like the scenic route, not the I-95 corridor that leads up through the big, congested cities to the North.

Our drive took us through the entire state of Florida, then into Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, and finally, Massachusetts.

The first thing that surprised me as I traveled through the Southern states, was the traffic—much heavier than expected. Big trucks as well as passenger cars with people going places. Made me realize that the economy (at least in those states) is coming back. People haven’t given up.

Why weren’t these people staying home? Didn’t they know that the economy is in shambles? Why weren’t they lying down and playing dead?

We know the answer: A free people, even under severe conditions, have the will to live and prosper. Having obeyed the dictates of our Federal and State governments since this ordeal began, we are ready to get back to work. It is time to get off our duffs and get busy earning a living and being in control of our lives.

Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina seemed open for business. True, the restaurants and shops were still mandated to be closed, yet there was a palpable spirit in the air that things were ready to open again. The hotels that Molly and I stayed in were busy! Few people were wearing masks, except for hotel desk clerks. But all kept their distance, just in case. It felt almost free. Signs along the routes still told travelers to stay safe during the crisis.

Next came Virginia and West Virginia, which, like the other southern states were still busy with traffic, but not quite as much. Had a different feeling. The signs along the highways had more warnings on them.

It was not until I crossed the border into Pennsylvania, that I noticed a real difference—a lot less passenger cars. The signs posted along the highway warned people to stay home. It felt as if we had suddenly passed into a different country…

Those of you old enough to remember East and West Germany, will know what I mean if I say that crossing the border into Pennsylvania felt as if I had crossed into East Germany. When I got to our hotel, there were uniformed soldiers checking in. Everyone had masks on. Signs were prominently posted that by order of the Governor of Pennsylvania, all citizens entering a public building must wear a face mask. (I rushed back to my car to retrieve mine, fearful that I might get arrested.) Even my dog, knew that things had changed.

Next came New York State and Connecticut, both similar with less car traffic and plenty of signs warning people to stay home. But my original home state of Massachusetts (once fondly labeled “Taxachusetts” in earlier days) had the most ominous signs of all. Huge lighted signs warned travelers from other states to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Obviously, different states are in different stages of this disease. Understood. Yet, it seems as if Democrat controlled states are more willing to clamp down on people’s freedom.

Also, more than enough citizens in those states seem willing to spy and report on those who flaunt the new government-imposed dictates. I made the mistake of posting about my travels on a Massachusetts city’s Facebook group. One member commented that I had better self-quarantine for 14 days (with an implied, or else)!  Yikes.

Today, we have two options: #1: Follow blindly like socially distanced lemmings over the cliff to a wrecked economy, or #2: Be an individual who takes common sense precautions as you would with any contagious disease. Then, to be bold, never taking freedom for granted.

On my trip from Florida to Massachusetts, I discovered that now, we live in two countries—one that is trying to regain freedom and one that seems comfortable with government control of our lives. Which one will you choose?

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